For the first time since mid-March, SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index
showed that hotel bookings globally rose to above 55% of 2019 levels on 6
September, before dropping back to 54.7% YoY three days later to mark
the tenth week that hotel bookings remained in the plateaued (second)
stage of global recovery.
In spite of the stalled momentum at a global level, however,
SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition
platform, says the last-minute booking trend that it has been reporting
since June has not. The last-minute trend continues in markets all
around the world, including in Cambodia where 80% of hotel bookings made
in the last two weeks are for stays during the remaining days of
The growth of Christmas and New Year’s Eve hotel bookings is the only
one trend that is bucking the last-minute booking trend though. That
week is now visible as a clear spike in multiple countries, including
Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam in Asia; Australia and
New Zealand in the Pacific; and Barbados and Canada in the Americas.
“It seems the world is keen to end 2020 on a high note, and usher in a
fresh new year,” said Mike Ford, managing director at SiteMinder.
SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index shows that a similar pattern is
emerging in Europe. Only two weeks after the summer-end, booking spikes
are appearing for the summer months of 2021, in the Nordic nations of
Denmark, Finland and Norway, as well as Portugal and Italy.
“It’s clear that Covid hasn’t completely deterred plans for enjoying
beach weather and, interestingly, international travellers have been
behind half of all bookings made within most of those countries over the
past month,” said Ford.
“Could we be learning to live with Covid? Perhaps in Europe, we are.
In spite of new coronavirus outbreaks across the continent, hotel
booking volumes have continued to climb to 65.5% YoY in Germany, and the
destabilisation occurring in Spain, France and the UK is far from the
drastic dip we saw in March. Two cities within the UK are, in fact, back
to pre-pandemic levels. They are Brighton (102% YoY) and Bournemouth
(99.8% YoY), which are both a two-hour drive from the London city
By contrast, SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index shows a different picture
in the Asia-Pacific where government restrictions around international
travel remain steadfast. Singapore, which has struggled to rise above
20% of last year’s levels, is the latest market to incentivise domestic
travel with a staycation stimulus. In spite of zero locally-transmitted
coronavirus cases in three months, Thailand is introducing a “special
tourist visa” scheme that appeals only to foreigners willing to stay a
minimum of 90 days.
The cautious measures could be working, with Asia contributing three
out of five of the fastest risers on the World Hotel Index this past
1. Vietnam: from 9.85% YoY to 25.1% YoY (+154.82% MoM)
2. Philippines: from 6.05% YoY to 14.24% YoY (+135.37% MoM)
3. Barbados: from 22.22% YoY to 44.39% YoY (+99.77% MoM)
4. South Africa: from 37.49% YoY to 65.05% YoY (+73.51% MoM)
5. Sri Lanka: from 20.58% YoY to 31.52% YoY (+53.16% MoM).
“Will 2021 bring the change that we’re all hoping for? Only time will
tell. In the meantime, what we know is that Covid-19 has created a
world operating at two speeds – one faster and internationally-focused,
and the other slower and domestically-focused – both designed to find
balance and normalcy where there is none,” said Ford.